Cuba reached four million tourists so far this year with the arrival of vacationers from France and Canada through the Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport in Varadero, 8 weeks prior to 2016.
Sunwing and Transat from Canada and Corsairfly from France arrived to the air terminal on Monday afternoon with over 600 passengers who were surprised to learn that they were the 4 million visitors to the Caribbean island.
Manuel Ramos from Paris said this was his 17th visit to Cuba and is now on the island to spend some days at the Hicacos Peninsula with his nephews and stressed that the Caribbean island is peaceful and safe.
The sales chief of the air terminal, Maria Elena Oviedo said it is a privilege to have received the 4 million tourist and stressed that it is also a confirmation that this would be a year with considerable growth in the tourism sector.
The installation is ready to receive those that select Varadero as their destination, said Oviedo and assured the airport will surpass the half million vacationers with a waiting period of between 18 and 26 minutes, which is below the international average.
The Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport, in operation since September of 1989, has some 27 regular flights from Canada, Germany, Britain, Italy, Russia and others that temporary fly during the winter.
The 52 hotels in Varadero Beach Resort are operating with its over 20 thousand 300 rooms, said Ivis Fernandez Pena, representative of the Tourism Ministry in the province of Matanzas who visited the terminal to welcome the passengers.
Varadero prepared, as well as the other parts of the country, for the high season and the arrival of these vacationers today demonstrates the confidence of clients and tour operators in the healthy and safe destination that has quickly recovered after Hurricane Irma.
Fernandez Pena added that according to preliminary calculations, Varadero Beach Resort should end 2017 with 1.6 million tourists, superior to 2016 and with clients from Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain as main visitors and as an example of the diversification of the market.
By Barbara Vasallo